Can You Guess What Film Was Used to Shoot These Photos?

What the Film?!
Credits: Left image courtesy of Analog Cafe. Right image by WTF?! user Maiike.

Canadian film photographer Dmitri Tcherbadji of Analog Cafe has been on a creative kick lately. Alongside his brilliant, operational instant film camera constructed using gingerbread, he has also helped develop a free web game built for analog shooters that tests the player’s knowledge of black and white film stocks.

The charmingly named WTF?!, which stands for “What the Film?!”, is straightforward to play and the game takes just a few minutes to complete.

Once the user presses “play,” they will be shown a series of three black and white photos and the goal is to identify which film was used to capture each image. It is not only about accuracy, though, as being speedy (and correct) provides bonus points.

What the Film?!
Screenshot of WTF?! provided by Analog Cafe.

Tcherbadji worked with fellow analog enthusiasts, Daren, the founder of LearnFilm.Photography, and Yvonne Hanson, a Vancouver-based professional photographer to create the game. They made the game as a fun way to test the theory that it is “nearly impossible to tell which black and white film an image was shot on.”

“All three of us performed poorly. I did the best in our group with a 27% correctness rate, which is not far from a coin flip. The only film we could confidently and correctly guess was infrared –but we could not identify the brand of infrared film. We also regularly confused budget and premium black and white emulsions,” Tcherbadji writes while adding that if someone thinks they can do better, they should give WTF?! a try.

The three game creators try the game for themselves in the video below, although it is a good idea to try the game first before seeing the photos.

As photographers play through multiple rounds of the game, they can advance to higher and more advanced levels. There are three difficulties to choose from, and the more challenging the round, the higher the maximum possible score.

While the first round offers three photos and two possible film stocks for each image, the second (medium) difficult level has 10 photos, each with five films. Level three delivers the ultimate challenge, showing users 15 pictures and 10 potential film stocks for every shot. Good luck.

The team needs more photos to add to its WTF?! catalog. A submission button on the game’s homepage allows people to upload three labeled black and white photos to make the game more fun for players.